V5C new keeper slip: How to change a car’s registered keeper

New keeper? This one’s for you.

If you want to change the registered keeper of your car, you’ll need to fill out the V5C “new keeper” slip. This is compulsory if you’re selling your car.

A registered keeper is the person who is responsible for keeping the car insured, taxed, and roadworthy. However, the keeper and the owner are not necessarily the same person. 

In this guide, you’ll learn what it means to be a vehicle’s registered keeper, plus everything you need to know about the V5C “new keeper” slip.

What is a car’s registered keeper?

The registered keeper of a car is the person who uses and maintains the vehicle. 

The keeper will need to make sure that the car is insured and taxed, and that it’s safe and legal to drive. They’ll be responsible for getting it serviced and ensuring it passes its MOT. And they’ll be the first point of contact for things like illegal parking or speeding fines.

Usually, the registered keeper will be the owner. But that’s not always the case.

Take the example of company cars. An employee will typically be the registered keeper and will need to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy. However, the legal owner will be the company.

Sometimes, something similar happens when someone buys a car for their child or another family member. The parent could be the owner, but the child could be the registered keeper. 

Why does this difference matter? There are two reasons:

  1. If you buy a new car, you’ll need to make sure that whoever is responsible for it is the registered keeper. To change the keeper, you’ll need the V5C log book, specifically the “new keeper” slip.
  2. While you might be the registered keeper of a vehicle, it doesn’t mean you own it. For instance, you won’t be able to sell it on. To prove you’re the owner, you’ll need a receipt of purchase or a written agreement from whoever you got the car from. Crucially, the V5C does not count as proof of ownership. 

Find out here how to change ownership of a car. In the rest of this article, we’ll explore in more detail how you change the keeper. 

How do you change the keeper of a car?

You can change a car’s registered keeper in two ways:

  • Fill out the green “new keeper” form on the V5C
  • Notify DVLA of a change of keeper online

Let’s explore the two options one at a time. 

Use the new keeper form in the V5C logbook

The conventional way to register a change of keeper is to use the V5C log book. This is the document that contains valuable information about the vehicle, including:

  • The current and previous registered keeper
  • Details of the vehicle model and its vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Forms that you’ll use to let the DVLA know about changes to the car or keeper

You’ll use the “new keeper” part of the V5C document to change the registered keeper. This is the green part of the document. 

Note though that there are different types of V5C log books out there, with different designs depending on their age. If you have a V5C form from 2019 or later, you’ll need to fill out two sections: part 2, “Selling or transferring my vehicle to a new keeper”, and part 6, “New keeper slip”. 

Alternatively, if you have a V5C form from between 2010 and 2019, the sections you need will be numbered and named differently. You’ll need part 6, “New keeper or new name/new address details”, and part 10, “New keeper’s details”. 

In both cases, you’ll need to provide very similar information, including the new keeper’s name, address, and driving licence number. 

Both you and the new keeper should sign the form before sending it off to the DVLA. 

What do I do with my V5C new keeper slip?

There’s one bit of the V5C that you shouldn’t send off when you complete the change of keeper. That’s the “New keeper slip” found in section 6 of the newer V5Cs. 

Whoever is the new keeper should keep this slip safe until they receive a new V5C form in the post from the DVLA. This form will include up-to-date details about the car’s registered keeper.

Can you change V5C ownership / keeper online?

These days, you can also register a new keeper online. It’s a much easier process and, for many people, it’s the preferred option. 

Simply visit the gov.uk Tell DVLA you’ve sold, transferred or bought a vehicle page. 

As part of this form, you will be asked “What have you done with your vehicle?”. You’ll need to select, “Put it into someone else’s name, including transferring it to a family member or friend”.

Then, you’ll need to enter the 11-digit reference number that you’ll find on your V5C log book. You’ll find it on the first page of your log book, in section 5. If you have lost your log book, you’ll need to apply for a new one to get your reference number (find out how to do so below).

Once you have entered this information, you can tear off the “new keeper” slip from your log book and give it to the new keeper. You’ll need to destroy the rest of the log book and throw it away. 

You and the new keeper will each receive an email saying the change of keeper is complete. You will also receive a letter saying that you’re no longer the keeper of the vehicle. The new keeper will also receive a new V5C log book within five working days. 

How do I notify the DVLA that I am a new keeper?

If you’re the new keeper of a vehicle, you won’t need to notify DVLA again — as long as the previous keeper has performed one of the options above. 

What you will need to do is ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy and legal to drive. That means you’ll need:

  • Car insurance. The legal minimum is third-party coverage
  • Vehicle tax. You can pay for the entire year or pay in regular instalments. Visit the “Vehicle tax” page on gov.uk to get started.
  • An MOT every year and regular services. You’ll be responsible for keeping the vehicle roadworthy. Cars need an MOT annually if they’re older than three years. 

As the new keeper, you should keep the V5C log book safe. You’ll need it when you pay your vehicle tax, or if you want to transfer the vehicle to another new keeper. 

How do you perform a change of keeper without a V5C log book?

While you will be able to change the vehicle’s keeper without a V5C log book, the process is a bit more complicated. There are two options. 

1. Apply for a new V5C

The best way to transfer ownership if you’ve lost your log book is to first apply for a new one. If you know your details, it’s usually really easy to do. 

You can either get a new V5C online from gov.uk or over the phone. But you can only do this if there has been no change to the information in your logbook. You’ll need the following information:

  • The registration number of the vehicle (i.e. the number plate)
  • The VIN or chassis number of the vehicle
  • The name and postcode registered on your V5C 

Once you’ve entered this information, you’ll have to pay £25 for the duplicate log book. You’ll receive the V5C in the post in five working days. 

Note that it’s best to apply for a new V5C in good time before you want to transfer the ownership, because you won’t be able to get one if the information has changed. 

Read more: Lost V5c: How to get a replacement log book

2. Change the keeper without a V5C

If you can’t or don’t have time to get a new V5C, you can still change the keeper. You’ll need to write to the DVLA with a some information about yourself and the vehicle, including:

  • Your name and address
  • The vehicle registration number
  • The make and model
  • The exact date of sale
  • The name and address of the new keeper

Send a letter with all this information to DVLA, at DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA. If you don’t supply all the necessary details, you may not be able to change the keeper. 

To sum up: The V5C “new keeper”

The V5C log book is a document that shows you’re the registered keeper of a vehicle. To change the keeper to another driver, you’ll need the V5C “new keeper” slip, a green section that comes with the logbook.

Registering a change of keeper with DVLA is really easy if you have the log book. If you don’t, though, don’t worry. You’ll just need to provide the DVLA with some information by post about yourself, the vehicle, and the new keeper.

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